The next chapter weekly: Jan 29-Feb 4, 2023

Welcome to next chapter weekly, a look at the week in this writer’s life.

This week I drew the three of wands from the tarot and the father from the Celtic oracle deck.

The three of wands represents discovery, negotiation, great effort, and foresight. This felt fortuitous as this is the week that I intended to get back on my writing game in a more serious way.

The father represents the Dagda, the “great god” of Irish mythology and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He controls life and death, the weather and crops, and time and the seasons. He can be equated to Zeus or Odin from other mythologies.

He was married to the Morrigan, but Boann was his mistress, and Brigit, or Brigid, is one of his children.

February 1st was Imbolc, or Brigid’s Day. Brigid is, among other things, the patron saint of poets and scholars. How apropos 🙂

I lit the candles and incense on my altar with special intention on Tuesday. The light has been steadily returning and I’ve had a distinct upswing in energy of late. It’s time to rededicate myself to my creativity.

The week in writing

Last week was all about playfulness and reacquaintance. I may not have written or revised every day, but I read things over, maybe accepted some track changes, or deleted some comments that were no longer needed.

This week, starting on February 1st, I got back into writing and revision more consciously and decisively. At least that was the plan. But you know what life does when you’re making those …

So, yeah. I didn’t get back to Reality Bomb or Alice in Thunderland until the 3rd. That was Friday. Better late than never?

Here’s how the week broke down. To show you the whole week, I have to give you two screenshots. The last three days of January are on this first one.

And the first four of February are on this second one.

Again, I entered my curation posts for the coming week before I took this screenshot. I’ll learn, eventually.

For RB, it was a week of net gains. 45 words on the 31st and 111 words between Friday and Saturday for a total of 156 words. There was some deletion in there, too. In fact, chapter two has shrunk a page. I’m hoping to finish up chapter three and move on to chapter four.

I closed the month with a net reduction of 632 words. I decided to take out the word goal for the months. My ultimate goal is to reduce about 25,000 from the draft. That’ goal is now in my annual tracking page as a negative number, and I’ll keep track of it there. Right now, it’s showing -521 (-632 + 111) words of the -25,000-word goal, or 2%.

On Alice, I finished up my freewritten notes for chapter 26 and I’m moving on to chapter 27 (of 28—getting closer!). I’ve also decided to add an epilogue. Originally, I had intended to begin writing in January to finish off the draft, but that hasn’t happened. So, I took out the wordcount goal for January on Alice as well.

For the blog, I wrote 1,708 words for the week between curations and this update, 1,228 of those in February. I finished out January with 7,306 words, or 104% of my 7,000-word goal.

Filling the well

I took this week as annual leave for myself. I needed to recalibrate after the cold, dark months of the year.

I signed up for a Dan Blank webinar this week: A simple plan to share on social media, in newsletters, and more. Though I could have attended, I chose to watch the replay. I prefer digging into webinars in my own time, when my head’s in the right space for it.

I applied for membership in The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC). It may be a while before I hear back.

I also had my annual checkup with my doctor. I came away with a referral letter for my registered massage therapist, a prescription to help with my next outbreak of blepharitis, and a vaccination for pneumococcal pneumonia (Prevnar 20). I am as protected as I can be until next fall’s flu/potential covid booster.

What I’m watching and reading

In the viewing department, I watched Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney +). I appreciated Coogler’s focus on grief and the tribute to Chadwick Boseman, but it was a Marvel movie 🙂

I also finished watching season 2 of Res Dogs (Disney +). SPOILERS The dogs finally make it to California and Bear wants to stay. It seems likely since their car and money have been stolen. We’ll see what happens in season 3.

Catherine Called Birdy (Amazon) was a delight. Bella Ramsey is awesome as Birdy (and a stark contrast with her character in The Last of Us). It’s a total fantasy, but I loved it.

Moving on to the week in reading, I finished Jay Baruschel’s Highly Legal (Audible Originals). An entertaining examination of the legalization of cannabis in Canada, and it’s ongoing challenges.

Then, I finished reading Tanis MacDonald’s Straggle. An in-depth consideration of what it means to be a woman walking through the world. This creative non-fiction collection of essays and poetry looks at one woman’s experience through engaging with wildlife, birding, reflections on youthful walks, and some not-so-youthful. Excellent.

And that was the week in this writer’s life.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

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